Lengthy-running cannabis competition Seattle Hempfest has filed a lawsuit towards the Washington State Liquor and Hashish Board (WSLCB) attributable to new restrictions on ads, saying the company has infringed on their proper to free speech.
WSLCB enacted new advert restrictions in April underneath Initiative 502, the legislation that originally legalized leisure cannabis within the state in 2013. The restrictions prohibit any cannabis enterprise from posting indicators or ads inside 1,000 toes of a college, playground, library or public park.
This spells hassle for companies at Hempfest, which now can’t put up any type of signal that reveals help for the competition that takes place at Myrtle Edwards and Centennial public parks.
In line with Hempfest’s lawsuit, the WSLCB in April “launched into a marketing campaign to actively dissuade licensed marijuana companies from taking part at Seattle Hempfest by issuing imprecise and complicated pronouncements which have the impact of intimidating licensed marijuana companies from taking part at Seattle Hempfest.”
Whereas WSLCB agreed in 2016 that companies at Hempfest may have indicators with their enterprise title on them with out cannabis warnings, in line with the lawsuit, the brand new bulletin in April modifications that, now saying that messaging mustn’t refer or promote cannabis companies or its merchandise.
“We consider that the brand new interpretation of Washington State’s 502 advert tips is so overreaching and restrictive as to be unconstitutional,” Hempfest Director Vivian McPeak mentioned in a press release.
“It’s crucial that Washingtonians have entry [to] correct and updated data concerning the cannabis merchandise they buy and devour, and that these residents and others are capable of determine the supply of that data.”
Hempfest says that companies may even not have the ability to put up indicators that embrace data on scientific research on cannabis.
Seattle Occasions, Common Holdings LLC and Multiverse Holdings are listed as plaintiffs within the lawsuit.
The 28th annual Hempfest is scheduled for August 16th to 18th this yr. It has labelled itself as a “protestival” given its mission of protesting cannabis prohibition over time and has drawn as much as 100,000 guests. Whereas no cannabis is allowed to be bought on the competition, it’s a celebration of the drug that features meals, musical acts and vendor cubicles.
The competition obtained so massive over its historical past that it designated itself a “constitutionally protected free speech occasion,” which permits it to be held in a public park.
WSLCB spokesperson Stephanie Davidsmeyer advised the Seattle Instances that they haven’t obtained a duplicate of the lawsuit but and the board’s coverage is to not touch upon pending litigation.